On Friday, the Chicago White Sox traded veteran left-handed reliever Matt Thornton to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs. The deal should come as no surprise with Thornton in the midst of the final year of his contract. Thornton’s contract does have a club option for 2014 of $6 million or a $1 million buyout, but that is now Boston’s problem. However, the White Sox did send cash along with Thornton with the intention of that money being used towards his buyout.

With the trade now completed, Thornton’s career on the south side has officially ended. Through his 7-plus seasons with the White Sox, Thornton compiled a 3.28 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, while amassing 486 strikeouts in 463.1 innings pitched. In all, Thornton’s tenure in Chicago was very successful. He ranks first all-time in franchise holds (164) and fourth in appearances (512).

Brandon Jacobs comes over from Boston as the Red Sox’ 11th best prospect according to MLB.com. Jacobs has an athletic body-type at 6’1’’ and 225 lbs, and he was committed to play football at the Auburn University prior to being drafted in the 10th round by Boston in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.  Jacobs had a slow start to his professional baseball career, appearing in just 72 games during the 2009-2010 seasons. However, in 2011, Jacobs enjoyed a breakout season in Single A by hitting .303 with 17 HR, 80 RBI, 75 R, and 30 SB in 115 games. That performance earned him a promotion to High-A ball in 2012, but the youngster took a slight step back. Jacobs saw his average slip to .252 with 13 HR, 61 RBI, 62 R, and 17 SB in 114 games. This season, the Red Sox opted to keep Jacobs in High-A ball to start the season, before promoting him to Double-A just a few days ago. Through 84 games, Jacobs appears to be producing similar numbers to his 2012 totals. He is currently hitting .247 with 11 HR, 44 RBI, 46 R, and 10 SB.

While Jacobs is “already” 22 years old, he still has some time to develop in a more patient and better contact hitter. If that were to occur, the White Sox would be more than happy to have 20-20 potential player at one of their corner outfield spots in the future.

-Eric Tichelbaut

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